Lesson 3: How To Make The Influencers Want To Promote You

One of the shortcuts to The Blogging Olymp is making friends with people who are already there.

They have the audience, they have the credibility and they have the power to bring you in.

What they don’t have is the reason to do that.

Of course the primary reason would be an absolutely incontestable quality of the work that you do with your blog.

But how do you get on their radar? And how do you make them WANT to help you?

The answer is very simple:

The Law of Reciprocity.

For this lesson I have a very special guest, who explains it way better than me:

I hope you got the idea: “scratch my back & I’ll scratch yours“.

So what can you do to “scratch their back“?

Give Them A Link

Lately I see rather a sad tendency. Bloggers are greedy for links. They rarely link anywhere out and when they do, it’s either Wikipedia or a blog of their close friend.

I can think of two possible reasons for that:

1. They are afraid to lose their readers to a better blog.
2. They are afraid of distracting their readers from reading an article.

Both concerns are in my opinion absolutely stupid.

Fear of losing readers – come on, you know they use Google, right? They already know you’re not the only blog out there. So why don’t you focus your efforts on becoming interesting to them instead of pretending to be the only blog on the topic.

Fear of distracting readers – they also have Facebook, Tweeter, emails, phone calls, late night show on TV, noisy kids, whatever. Do you really think a link in your post is the strongest distraction? So again, I’m suggesting you to shift your focus to making your posts more engaging than any late night show on TV. This way you won’t lose a single reader.

Now let’s talk about the positive side of linking out.

One little link does lots of things:

  • You publicly show your appreciation to the author of the article;
  • You publicly show that you consider the referenced article worthy;
  • You’re sending some visitors his way.. this may even bring him some money;
  • You’re helping his article rank better in Google (which again results in more visitors/sales).

And the trick is that WordPress will automatically notify the author of the article about the link. This feature is built-in into WordPress and it’s called “trackback“:

A trackback is one of three types of linkback methods for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to their articles. Some weblog software, such as SilverStripe, WordPress, Drupal, and Movable Type, supports automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published. The term is used colloquially for any kind of linkback.

In other words, once you link to some article from your own post, you can be sure the author of the article will be notified about this automatically.

So instead of spamming influencers with your “Hi, please check my cool post” emails, just link to their articles and they will voluntarily come to check you out. They might actually read your article, to learn the context of why their post was referenced.

I’m offering you to run an Experiment

It’s dead simple and the results are guaranteed!

Here are the steps to take:

1. Once you finish writing your next post, go to Google and find 10 related articles that add to it (the more recent they are, the better).

2. Find a way to naturally blend links to those 10 articles in your post and publish it.

3. Then monitor 10 authors of these articles on Twitter for a week or two to see if anyone of them will tweet your post without you even asking for it directly.

It’s quite clear that the results of this experiment heavily depend on the actual quality of your article and how flattered the guys will be to see the reference. So if you won’t get any results at first, try this a few more times. This will eventually work, I promise!

Now here’s a Ninja Tactic of my own.
(Never seen it published elsewhere. So use it now, before it’s mainstream)

When you’ll be tweeting your post, mention all the guys that were featured in it, just like that:

10 Ways To Make $1000 Overnignt http://bit.ly/123 featuring @user1 @user2 @user3

The beauty of this method, is that most likely some of the guys follow each other on Twitter, so a tweet, that brought their names together might easily catch their attention.

This won’t work every time, so I suggest you do this with your best articles to increase your chances of getting a retweet.

Want to go an extra step?

Take time to leave your comment on the 10 articles that you’ve referenced in your post:

“Hey XXX, That was an excellent article! I absolutely agree on XXX, and speaking of YYY my opinion would be the following… By the way I just published my own post about XXX and I thought you’ll be glad to know that I’ve referenced your article there. Here’s the link: http://yourblog.com/yourarticle”.

Not only the owner of the blog will notice you, but some of his readers that hang out in the comments section will see your comment and most likely follow the link to check your post.

Last thing you can do is actually send emails to all 10 guys saying they were featured in your article. But I would opt to do this only in case they were featured real heavy – with photos and lots of kind words. Otherwise you won’t get any effect.

Link-Oriented Post Ideas

Some post ideas I see on different blogs were obviously crafted with the purpose of linking out to the “big guys”.

Here are the most popular ones, with an obvious twist of flattery right in the headline:

“XX Best Blogs About YY From Around The Web”
“XX Awesome Posts About YY”
“XX Amazing Guys That Do YY”

Got the idea? It’s really easy to come up with post ideas like that. Find something that powerful guys in your niche have in common and do a post about this.

In most cases the guys will be really flattered to appear in a post like that and they won’t resist tweeting it.

Here are a few more random ideas to get your brains working:

– personal websites of famous photographers;
– author bios of pro bloggers;
– gorgeous profile pictures of travel bloggers;
– google+ profiles of momtrepreneurs;
– facebook covers of modern painters;
– my favorite tweets this month;
– list of guys that inspire me…

I could go on, but I’m sure you can easily come up with your own ideas of how to feature some big guys. And once you do – use my tips to let them know about it.

The Buckshot Method

Yet another tactic of my own that I haven’t met anywhere else. And I’m glad to share it here privately to my email subscribers.

In essence, you have to create a list of people with high probability of tweeting your content.

To start with, go to sites like followerwonk.com, klout.com wefollow.com, twellow.com, etc…
There you can browse people who are tweeting in your niche and add to the lost those who qualify.

You should pass them through the following 4-Step Filter:

1. The first criteria for someone to be added to your twitter list should be the amount of his followers. I suggest you to only add accounts with 1000+ followers.

2. The second criteria is if the guy is actually posting any links in his tweets. Quite often people just tweet random stuff that’s happening in their lives – I don’t add guys like this to my list.

3. The third criteria is if the links he’s tweeting out are actually from blogs other than his own one. In case the person is only tweeting his own stuff – he’s useless to you.

4. And the last criteria is if the guy is actually getting any retweets on his tweets. I usually highlight these guys in my spreadsheet and make sure to contact them in the most personal way possible.

Once your list is ready, take your very best post and shoot it at them!

I only suggest you to try this, if you have some really successful post on your blog. By “success” I mean a solid amount of likes and tweets on it.

This way you know for sure the post is good and that alone is a perfect reason to show it to the guys in your list.

The email should go like this:

Hey XXX,

I’ve noticed you on Twitter because it seems you frequently tweet awesome articles in XXX field. I guess your followers really appreciate that!

And I think I have a nice article that your fans might enjoy! I published it last month and since then it got over 100 likes on Facebook!!

Here’s the link: http://yourblog.com/yourarticle

Please let me know if you enjoyed the article!

Thanks in advance!

Tim

I think it’s clear from this email that you’re not asking for anything, but actually offering him your help! You’re kind of helping him to discover awesome articles that his followers might enjoy.

And as you’ve already learned, by offering your help you actually provoke him to reciprocate.

But let’s be realistic, the people in your list have thousands of reasons to ignore you. It can be anything from enormous workload to exceptionally bad mood.

My results were usually 1-3 tweets out of 10 contacts. That’s why I’ve called it “The Buckshot Method“.

Yet the charm of this method is that those 1-3 guys might have a very large following (just by coincidence) and eventually you’ll get tons of traffic to your post.

And in case these guys see that their tweet got retweeted by their followers – they will be happy to tweet more from you!

And once again I want to warn you, that you should only do this to a post that has already proven to be successful. Otherwise people will just laugh at you and you will spoil your reputation from the start.

Special Case

I’m sure your niche is full of different brands that sell some products or services. The thing is – if the name is well known, they probably have a very large following on Twitter and Facebook.

And they have to entertain their followers daily.

Your job is to monitor their Twitter and Facebook accounts to get a sense of which kind of content they share with their fans and then get in touch with their social media team and offer your blog posts, in case they are relevant.

The cool thing about this tactic is that in case you’re worthy, their social media managers will just add you to their list of resources that they regularly monitor. And from then your best content will be shared on autopilot.

Should I repeat myself over and over and warn you that this thing will only work if your blog already has a few articles with impressive number of tweets and likes on them?

In other words – epic content comes first, then goes the promotion.

Bonus List-Building Tactic

This is something I’ve added to my email course just recently, because I wanted to add even more value to what’s already here. So I’m afraid people who’ve signed up to my course earlier won’t ever see this tactic.

The trick is to monitor twitter daily for people who tweet your posts and pass them through the aforementioned 4-Step Filter to see if they qualify for your “outreach list“.

The thing is that these people are already tweeting your stuff, which means the probability of getting more tweets from them is really high.

Just keep collecting them and as your list grows it will be easier for you to get more results from the “The Buckshot Method“.

Take Action

1. Go through your old posts and see if you can update them to add links to other related articles from other blogs.

Here’s another bonus trick that will work like a charm. At the end of some old post add:

UPD: this post might have got a bit outdated with time, here are some links to cool timely posts on the same topic.

or

PS: In case you would like some more information on XXX I encourage you to check the following amazing posts.

2. Try to avoid hitting the “Publish” button on a post that doesn’t have any links to related articles by other bloggers. Make sure you put at least 1 reference in every post you publish.

3. Let the authors of the articles know about the reference by tweeting to them or maybe sending personal emails.

4. Write a few “Link-Oriented Posts” and notify everyone included.

5. In case you have a few epic posts (more on this in upcoming lessons) load them in your gun and go for The Buckshot Method.

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